Pussy Riot WHIPPED By Security As They Stage Protest Under Sochi Olympics...

Pussy Riot WHIPPED By Security As They Stage Protest Under Sochi Olympics Sign (PHOTOS, VIDEO)

By Daily Mail Online on February 19, 2014
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Russian punk group Pussy Riot were attacked with horsewhips today by Cossack militia as they tried to perform under a sign advertising the Sochi Olympics.

Six group members – five women and one man – donned their signature ski masks and were pulling out a guitar and microphone as at least 10 Cossacks and other security officials moved in.

One Cossack appeared to use pepper spray, another whipped several group members while others ripped off their masks and threw the guitar in a rubbish bin.

Russian punk group Pussy Riot were attacked with horsewhips today by Cossack militia as they tried to perform under a sign advertising the Sochi Olympics
Russian punk group Pussy Riot were attacked with horsewhips today by Cossack militia as they tried to perform under a sign advertising the Sochi Olympics

Six group members - five women and one man - donned their signature ski masks and were pulling out a guitar and microphone as at least 10 Cossacks and other security officials moved in

Six group members – five women and one man – donned their signature ski masks and were pulling out a guitar and microphone as at least 10 Cossacks and other security officials moved in

A member of Pussy Riot is restrained by Cossack militia. The group had gathered in a downtown Sochi restaurant, about 30km (21miles) from where the Winter Olympics are being held

The incident lasted less than three minutes and one Pussy Riot member, a man wearing a bright yellow tank top, was left with blood on his face, saying he had been pushed to the ground

Pussy Riot whipped by Cossacks

 

Police arrived and questioned witnesses, but no-one was arrested.

The Cossacks violently pulled masks from women’s heads, beating group member Nadezhda Tolokonnikova with a whip as she lay on the ground.

The incident lasted less than three minutes and one Pussy Riot member, a man wearing a bright yellow tank top, was left with blood on his face, saying he had been pushed to the ground.

Pussy Riot, a performance-art collective involving a loose membership of feminists who edit their actions into music videos, has become an international flashpoint for those who contend Vladimir Putin’s government has exceeded its authority, particularly restricting human and gay rights.

Nadezhda Tolokonnikova is pulled away by a Russian security officer. The group ran out of the restaurant wearing brightly colored clothes and ski masks and were immediately set upon by about a dozen Cossacks, who are used by police authorities in Russia to patrol the streets
Nadezhda Tolokonnikova is pulled away by a Russian security officer. The group ran out of the restaurant wearing brightly colored clothes and ski masks and were immediately set upon by about a dozen Cossacks, who are used by police authorities in Russia to patrol the streets

Members of the punk group Pussy Riot, including Maria Alekhina in the pink balaclava, center, are attackedBlood trickles down the face of a member of the punk group Pussy Riot

The Cossacks violently pulled masks from women’s heads, beating group member Nadezhda Tolokonnikova with a whip as she lay on the ground while right blood trickles down the face of a member of the punk group

The group gained international attention in 2012 after barging into Moscow’s main cathedral and performing a ‘punk prayer’ in which they entreated the Virgin Mary to save Russia from Mr Putin, who was on the verge of returning to the Russian presidency for a third term.

Two members of the group, Ms Tolokonnikova and Maria Alekhina, were sentenced to two years in prison, but were released in December under an amnesty bill seen as a Kremlin effort to assuage critics before the Olympics.

On Tuesday, two members of the group were briefly detained in Sochi, but not arrested.

The group has called for a boycott of the Sochi Olympics and has insisted that any world leader coming to Sochi would be giving tacit approval of Mr Putin’s heavy-handed policies.

A member of the punk group Pussy Riot lies on the ground. They only been performing for a few seconds when they were set upon by Cossacks
A member of the punk group Pussy Riot lies on the ground. They only been performing for a few seconds when they were set upon by Cossacks

Maria Alekhina, second left, helps Nadezhda Tolokonnikova get up after they and other members of the punk group Pussy Riot are attacked by about a dozen Cossack militiamen
Maria Alekhina, second left, helps Nadezhda Tolokonnikova get up after they and other members of the punk group Pussy Riot are attacked by about a dozen Cossack militiamen

A photographer is whipped by a member of the Cossack militia while trying to photograph members of the punk group
A photographer is whipped by a member of the Cossack militia while trying to photograph members of the punk group

Members of the punk group Pussy Riot, including Maria Alekhina in the pink balaclava, center, are attackedA member of the punk group Pussy Riot is restrained

On Tuesday, two members of the group were briefly detained in Sochi, but not arrested

The Cossacks have been used since last year as an auxiliary police force to patrol the streets in the Krasnodar province, which includes the Winter Olympic host city. Patrol leader Igor Gulichev compared his forces to the Texas Rangers, an elite law-enforcement body that has power throughout that state.

Cossacks trace their history in Russia back to the 15th century. Serving in the czarist cavalry, they spearheaded imperial Russia’s expansion and were often used as border guards. Under communism, they virtually disappeared, but have since resurfaced, particularly in the south.

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